Northwestern Law and Paladin Partner to Inspire more Student Pro Bono
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law has announced a collaboration with Paladin, a pro bono platform whose mission is to increase access to justice, providing Northwestern’s students with new avenues to access pro bono opportunities.
“This work could not be more timely,” said Paladin Co-Founder and CEO Felicity Conrad, NYU Law ’13 graduate. “Recent issues around immigration, natural disasters, and the opioid epidemic are poignant examples of the overwhelming need for pro bono lawyers to assist the 86% of Americans who need but never receive free legal help. Law students are on the forefront of creating and scaling pro bono culture, so we are very excited to work with Northwestern students.”
Founded in 2015 and a graduate of Techstars Chicago’s 2017 class, Paladin’s software helps teams to staff, manage, and track their pro bono work, as well as visualize their impact. By connecting law students with those in need in Chicago and beyond, “we can help students gain valuable hands-on experience, connect them with those in need, build relationships with established organizations, and make a lasting impact,” according to Conrad.
“Preparing students for a career in public interest or for ongoing pro bono work is one of our key priorities at Northwestern Law. We established a Public Interest Center in 2016 in order to more efficiently and effectively achieve that goal, and our partnership with Paladin is another step in those ongoing efforts. Paladin is also a prime example of how technology can help close the access-to-justice gap, a lesson we are increasingly relaying in our classrooms, so I’m pleased that students will have a new opportunity to see this firsthand,” says Cindy Wilson, the Director of the Public Interest Center and Director of Bluhm Legal Clinic Center for Externships at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
To encourage pro bono engagement, Paladin helps surface relevant opportunities from partner legal aid organizations and law firms and deliver them to students’ inboxes. They’ll also offer a real-time database available to Northwestern students of pro bono opportunities in the community. By graduation, every student will have a personalized pro bono portfolio highlighting their experience and community work, and Northwestern Law will have data-driven insights into students’ impact.
About Northwestern Law
Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, a professional graduate school of Northwestern University, is one of the country’s leading law schools. Founded in 1859, the school that would become known as Northwestern Law was the first law school established in the city of Chicago. Today, Northwestern Law prides itself on its rigorous intellectual environment, highly interdisciplinary faculty, low student-faculty ratio, and diverse and supportive community. Northwestern Law graduates are leaders in the profession, from law firms to government, non-profits to academia, tackling today’s pressing legal issues.
Paladin’s mission is to increase access to justice by helping legal teams streamline their pro bono programs. They work with law schools, firms, and in-house legal teams to centralize pro bono opportunities, increase engagement, and capture outcomes and impact. Thus far, Paladin has helped facilitate law students’ work on shaping transgender policy, expunging criminal records, and assisting domestic violence survivors, among others. Paladin is based in New York, with an office in Chicago. For more information, please visit joinpaladin.com.